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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Seasons Are Set To Change Soon

My two favorite seasons of the year are spring and fall. They are both cool weather months or can be and yet they are both very different. Spring is where all is starting to awake, grow and come to life and fall seems to have its own gift of going to sleep, hibernating and yes seeing parts die off.

I live in an area that currently is over-populated with all the eclipse fans. Soon though, our guest will go home and the beauty of the forest will still be here for us to enjoy. As a family we will enjoy fall scenery on car rides, hikes and simply getting out there to enjoy the beauty that fall has to offer. Fall offers a great harvest of fresh produce as well.

This fall season I challeng you to try at least one new vegetable, more than once. Fall offers a grand buffet of fruits and veggies in season. They not only are great tasting but have been blessed with an abundance eof vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Veggies available include:

Broccoli is a green cruciferous vegetable that is packed with folic acid, vitamin K, A, and C. You can eat broccoli raw or cooked, It is great in cold salads, pasta, or try it sauteed in oil and garlic. Many kids like to eat "broccoli" raw and refer to the small pieces as "trees". Broccoli was a popular food of ancient Romans and once grew wild on the shores of the Mediterranean sea. In the 1920s broccoli became a popular food in the United States.

Broccoli Cheese Sauce

1 large bunch of fresh broccoli
2 to 4 cloves crushed garlic
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. crushed coriander seeds
1/4 cup chopped onion
A pinch of black pepper
3 tsp. lemon or lime juice
1 cup water

Place half an inch or less of water into a large saucepan to a boil. Chop the broccoli into large chunks and place into the boiling water, stirring until each chunk is wet, until just tender and still vibrant green. Transfer broccoli to the bowl of a food processor and add remaining ingredients, processing until pureed. Return mixture into saucepan and warm over medium heat for about 3 minutes for a thick sauce that can be thinned with water if preferred. Adjust seasonings accordingly. Makes 6 servings.

Brussel sprouts were named for city in Belgium where the vegetable was introduced. A member of the cabbage family brussel sprouts have been cultivated in Italy during the Roman Empire. In the 1800's Brussel sprouts were brought to the U.S. by European farmers. 
The best flavor of brussel sprouts comes about when they are placed into a very small amount of water and steamed, drained and quickly served with only a little salt. Steamd brussel sprouts go well with honey mustard or cheese sauce. You can also roast in oven and serve with parmesan cheese. A good source of fiber, folate and iron. 

Pumpkins are famous around Halloween and Thanksgiving by many but there are many benefits of pumpkins that are present year round. Pumpkins are a powerhouse of nutrition. A natural immune booster with vitamin a and c as well as beta carotene. Pumpkin seeds have become a loved snack by many. Did you know that these seeds are high in manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, zinc, iron, kryptophan and protein. They are also good source of vitamin E, K, C and B. Pumpkins however are not vegetables but fruits. Pumpkins have been cultivated in America for 5,000 years. 

Spinach was originally known in England as "the Spanish vegetable" Spinach is a leafy green veggie that may have came from ancient Persia traveled to Nepal and then to China. In China spinach is known as "Persian Greens" Spinach is consumed in a greater amount now than it was years ago. This may because it comes in a greater variety of ways than the original seaweed in a can. 

Popeye helped make spinach famous in the cartoons during the 1960s. While it may not make anyone into popeye spinach is rich in iron, fiber, and folic acid. Spinach is often served as side dishes, in soups and raw on sandwiches and in salads. 
Creamed Spinach

¾ cup raw whole milk
¼ cup water
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon butter
1½ tablespoons arrowroot
2 pounds spinach, steamed - or 
2 pounds chard, steamed, drained
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, water and garlic. Heat slowly until very hot and steamy. Let stand, covered, for five to 10 minutes. This allows the garlic to soften.
Melt butter in another medium saucepan over medium high heat.
Whisk in arrowroot, then add hot milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Stir in spinach or chard, and cook until sauce is thick and bubbly and the spinach is tender but still green, about six minutes.
Stir in cheese and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
This recipe makes four servings.

Sweet Potatoes often found during the holidays has much more to offer Sweet potatoes are native to Peru and were discovered by Columbus. This vegetable is part of the morning glory plant family and are not the same as yams but are often mistankingly thought. There is over 400 varieties of sweet potato including some that are rare. WIth a variety of skin and flesh color ranging from cream, yellow and orange to pink and purple as well. 
Sweet potatoes can be baked and served with butter, salt and pepper, made into potato chips and fries but boiling them may mean a loss of nutrients. 
Sweet potatoes hold more nutritional value than the white potato. Hosting vitamin A and C as well as potassium, iron and copper. 
This is only a handful of the many fruits and veggies that are popular in the fall months. I hope you take the challenge and try at least one of these that I have listed. Enjoy!!



Gardening in August : Start A Fall Garden

You may be thinking that the gardening season is over. You have had a great gardening year and an abundance of fresh produce. So you may think that it is the end of gardening til next year. Hold up right there !!!!

While you have an abundance right now it will soon start to dwindle. It is time to extend the vegetable growing season by planing a fall garden. A fall garden will help you add more veggies to your supply and offer more growing season. The fall garden will require leess time and labor as the soil was worked previously in the spring. Kale, swiss chard, broccoli and cauliflower all are at higher quality in a fall garden. 
First thing first you need to remove all previous crop residues before seeding fall veggies. So start with tilling and fertilizing. Then you are ready to plant the seeds. Keeping soil moist is needed til seed germinates. It is beest to get crops such as lettuce, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, mustard, turnip, and winter radish in garden starting in mid to late August. 

No interest in fall gardening then work on preparing your garden for next year. Debris clean up, weeds, and anything that does not belong in garden needs removing. If interested in covering your garden during fall plant rye, wheat or ryegrass. These plants will help smother out weeds and increase organic matter content of soil 

Strawberry and Orange Fruit Salad

This is a simple side, and full of antioxidants and vitamins. You can omit the honey if desired.

2 orange(s), seedless
1 pint strawberries, fresh
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon mint leaves, chopped, optional

Cut the skin and the white flesh from the outer edge of the oranges. Cut each orange in half and then cut each into bite sized pieces. Remove the tops from the strawberries, clean and slice them. Place the berries and oranges in a bowl. Pour the honey on top and toss. Garnish with mint leaves if desired.

Protect yourself and those you love from Mosquitos

There is one pesky irritant that will be here til summer is done and be back again next year. The mosquito and its dreaded bitee affects nearly everyone. Those with severe allergies may notice the bug and bite more than others. Male mosquitoes are harmless but females out for blood. She finds her victim via scent, exhaled carbon dioxide and chemicals in the victims sweat. Constantly in search of the perfect victim and exposed skin and is ready to draw the victim's blood. Leaving behind a red bump and itching allowing the victim to know they had been bitten. 

There are a  few things you can do to avoid being attacked by the mosquito. First make sure there is no standing water in or near the area you are in. Light colored clothing with long pants and long sleeve shirts when out in open can help protect you as well. If there are holes in your homes windows or doors be sure to fix them. In addition follow the 5 Ds can help as well. 

Insect repellent can be useful as well.

Mosquito trivia:

Did you know? The itchy red bump left by a mosquito bite isn’t actually caused by the bite itself. The irritation is a result of the skin’s allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva

Lemonade Shakeups Recipe

1 quart water
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large lemons, halved

Bring the water to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature. This mixture can be stored in the fridge for a week or until ready to use.
Gather four 8-12 ounce glasses or jars with lids. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into each one then place the halves in each glass. Top with ice. Pour the sugar water over each one, to the top of the glass. Cover and then shake until thoroughly combined. Enjoy!

Easy Cream Cheese Bacon Roll Ups

8 slices bacon, sliced in half
8 slices of bread, crusts removed and sliced in half
4 ounces cream cheese

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a jelly roll pan with some non-stick cooking spray. Smear a little cream cheese on one side of each of the de-crusted bread halves.

Take a half piece of bacon and lay it on a clean flat surface (Image 1). Line up the top edge of one of the prepared bread pieces, cream cheese side up & dry side to bacon (Image 2). Starting at the top edge, roll bacon side toward the cream cheese side (Image 3). Continue to roll until "tail" wraps completely around the roll-up (Image 4). Secure with a toothpick and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until remaining roll ups are ready to go.

Bake at 375º F for 25-35 minutes or until bacon is completely cooked and golden brown (No

Chocolate Pecan Pie

1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
4 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Spread the pecans and chocolate chips evenly on the bottom of the pie shell.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, bourbon, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over the pecans and chocolate chips. Bake for 30 minutes then carefully place a pie shield over the crust. Continue baking until the filling is set, about 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Southern Style Fried Catfish

6 catfish filets, boneless and skinless
Freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
3 cups fine-ground cornmeal
Canola oil

1. Generously season the filets with salt and pepper. Set out two shallow bowls. Mix the beaten eggs with the milk in one bowl and put the cornmeal in the other. Dip the filets first in the eggy milk, then dredge in the cornmeal.

2. Heat 3 inches of canola oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat to 350˚ on a candy thermometer. In batches, gently slide the filets into the oil and fry for 6 minutes. Turn the pieces over with a slotted spoon and cook an additional 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season well.

Serves 6

Excerpted from My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking by John Besh/Andrews McMeel Publishing.

National Aviation Day

August 19th is national Aviation Day in the United States. This day celebrates the development of aviation and was created in 1939 by Franklin Roosevelt. August 19th is also Orville Wright's birthday. Orville was born August 19th , 1871.

This updated version of the candy recipe of yesteryear would be great to make today or anytime you are looking to have a flying good time.

Small Hersey chocolate bars (instead of gum)
Gummy Lifesavers (instead of hard mint Lifesavers)
Small rubber bands  

Place rubber band between two gummy Lifesavers and keep your fingers in the rubber bands during the next steps. It makes it easier to put the plane together.

Step Two:

Fit the Smartie between the two Lifesavers "wheels."

 Step Three:

Then loop one side of the rubber band over the Hersey bar (keep your one finger/thumb in the other side of the rubber band so to hold it in place). Then loop the other side around the chocolate bar.

This is what it looks like from the underneath side of the plane.

Society Is Living Longer and fighting to be Happy

In the past 100 years the average life expectancy has increased by nearly 30 years in the United States. In fact most developed countries of the world are catching up to this ratio very quickly. Individuals born now can expect to live to see up to eight or more decades in their lives. This fact changes society in that adults 60 or older is growing rapidly in our population. So a new question arises: what should we do with those extra 20 to 30 years of life??

The well being and opportunities for seniors should not run out just because society population is getting older. Should the young generation strive to make plans for the future years?? The issue is that society often forgets about the population that finds itself enjoying longer life span. So politics evoke thoughts of the cost of the population getting older, how will this harm the current system.

Many individuals that are getting older are working longer. Some, however, find that there is no longer a role in society for them to play. While they are not useless seniors often feel as if others want to put them in a corner and act as though out of sight out of mind. Don't let this part of society be the next to meet discrimination. The older generation has experience and abilities to offeer. Lets not in case them because of their age as we should never let an individuals talents and achieveements become stagnated. Older adults may move a bit slower but they are so very important and we can learn so much

Friday, August 18, 2017

Chicken and Pepper Fajitas

2 Tablespoons of Oil
1 Pound of Chicken Breast Cut Into Strips
½ Yellow - Cut into Strips
1 Red Bell Pepper - Cut into Strips
1 Green Bell Pepper - Cut into Strips
1 Packet of McCormick Fajita Skillet Sauce

In a large skillet - add oil and cook chicken - you can season with salt and pepper
Once chicken is cooked place onto a plate
Add onions and peppers - cook until veggies are soft
Add chicken back into the mix
Add skillet sauce and cook for about 10 minutes over medium/low heat
Serve hot in the skillet with tortillas

Tomato Basil Mozzarella salad

Tomatoes, sliced
Fresh Basil, carefully chop leaves to prevent bruising
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Assemble the salad with slices of tomatoes, basil leaves, and mozzarella slices. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the salad. Then add a dash of vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Gift in Jar : friendship Soup

Friendship Soup Gift in A Jar

1/4 cup White Beans
1/4 cup Kidney Beans
1/4 cup Split Peas
1/4 cup Pinto Beans
2 Tbsp Barley (pearl or pot)
2 Tbsp Parsley
2 Tbsp Dried Onions
2 Tbsp Beef Bullion Granules
1 Bay Leaf

Layer first five ingredient in a one pint Mason jar. Combine remaining ingredients and seal inside a snack size zipper bag. Add bag to the top of bean layers.

Print and add copy of this card to jar Share with friends

Ice Cream Treat

4 cups (32floz/960g) milk, full fat*
1 Cup (8 oz/240g) sugar
⅔ Cup (5oz /150g) cream
(95g/) dry milk powder
½ vanilla extract,
½ teaspoon salt
900 g/ 2 lbs dry ice* (this has to be measured in weight and not cups)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and use a hand blender to combine ingredients, about one minute. Just be sure to whisk away any clumps of milk powder that form in the mix. You can also use a blender.
Cover and reserve in the fridge until you’re ready to churn. It’s important to keep the ice cream base really cold.
Carefully transfer your dry ice to a clean tea towel or apron and wrap it up completely. Wear gloves when handling the dry ice as it is extremely cold.
With a heavy cast iron pan or a hammer, crush dry ice into a fine powder.
Transfer crushed dry ice to a plastic bowl or Tupperware container and pop back in the freezer until you are ready for it.
Pour your ice cream base into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and begin mixing on medium speed.
Add dry ice one spoonful at a time. Allow foam and steam to dissipate, then add another spoonful.This takes around 5 minutes.
NOTE: Adding too much too fast will lead to a big pile of bubbling ice cream all over your work surface. Nobody wants that. Go slow. Seriously.
Keep adding spoonfuls of dry ice until the ice cream begins to thicken. When it does, increase mixing speed, continuing to add spoonfuls of dry ice until your ice cream is rich, thick, and creamy. (You may need less or slightly more; it depends on many different factors. So just go slow and eyeball it—when your ice cream looks like soft serve, it probably is!)
Store in the freezer until you’re ready to serve. Mix up the ice cream again and scoop it into a piping bag fitted with a large, round nozzle.
Pipe into your cones and enjoy straight away. It is best eaten that day. I don’t recommend freezing it overnight as it is hard to scoop later.
*best served within 2 hours of making, otherwise it will freeze rock solid.

recipe source here

Mail Order Catalog

It may surprise you but mail order catalogs go back to the days of the American Revolution. During the late 1800s catalog shopping became a popular thing to do. Companies like Montgomery Ward, Sears Roebuck & Company, J.C. Penney's and others all produced mail order catalogs. The companies realized there was money to made by allowing customers to stay home and shop.

Mail order catalogs were delivered to customers around the country. The catalogs contained items for sale ranging from clothing, makeup, furniture, electronics, appliances, cookware, tools, toys, gardening products, books and other home needs. Orders rang up million of dollars of merchandise and the products were shipped through mail as well.

The one downfall to mail order catalogs has been the introduction to the digital world. Computers, tablets, cell phones and other sorts of modern day technologies all seemed to be able to put shopping in the hands of customers without need of paper catalogs. Thus the declination of paper mail order catalogs declined dramatically.

50th State of United States

It was in 1898 that President William McKinley annexed Hawaii into the United States. It was in this same year that the Spanish American War broke out. The united states found strategies using the naval base at Pearl Harbor. Congress was convinced to approve formal annexation of Hawaii.  In 1900 Hawaii was made a territory with Dole as its first governor.

Hawaii was admitted into the states via the Admission Act. The Admission Act provides a way of admission of a state into the union and was enacted by the United States Congress and signed into law via President Dwight D. Eisenhower

In 1959 became the 50th state. Hawaii officially became the fiftieth state on August 21, 1959. As one of the smallest states it is the only sate that is made up entirely of islands. The islands are the tops of volcanoes, some of which are still active.